Eternal Tears Of Sorrow – Children of the Dark Waters

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Reviewed: December 2009
Released: 2009, Suomen Musiikki
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Finland´s Eternal Tears of Sorrow have reached another milestone in their long career (which started as long ago as 1994 already), this being the band´s 7th full-length album in order, titled CHILDREN OF THE DARK WATERS. It´s been 3 years since E.T.o.S.´s previous album, BEFORE THE BLEEDING SUN, came out on Spinefarm Records – receiving a very positive response from all over the world.

However, despite this, E.T.o.S and Spinefarm Records parted ways – and the band seemed to be swallowed up by the earth for a long time. After a 3 year break – a new label, and a new album in their hands, E.T.o.S. have returned to the limelight again, stronger and more diverse sounding than ever before.

Since Janne Tolsa (Tarot´s gifted keyboard player) joined E.T.o.S., in my opinion he has brought lots more depth and that needed atmosphere into the basic sound of the band. With his 2nd album with E.T.o.S., his keyboard playing has enabled even more to sit on the band´s symphonic, epic and melodic blend of death and black metal – and made it also somehow more accessible, and just catchier in many ways. Janne can truly be credited for bringing E.T.o.S.´s sound toward new heights with the last 2 albums of the band. He´s got a phenomenal sense for certain type of melodic musical elements that can make a song flow so effortlessly, and bring it into a new dimension, I think.

Along with Janne´s excellent input to this record with his colorful keyboard parts, it´s only fair to give some credit to the other musicians in the band for creating such a strong and spine-chilling wholeness on C.O.T.D.W., from which a listener can truly enjoy from start to finish. The album´s grand opener, “Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act II: Children of the Dark Waters)” is undoubtedly one of the finest numbers the band has ever penned during their whole glorious career. It´s amazingly epic, symphonic, catchy and it really comes straight on your skin. Guitar riffs, solo work, both clean vocals (Jarmo Kylmänen, Heidi Parviainen and Miriam Renvåg for being responsible for all of them), as well as and harsh vocals of Altti Veteläinen, etc. – and overall how they have succeeded to connect all these fine musical ingredients into one big wholeness, it´s nearly too easy to state that they have done somewhat a perfect job on this album. Also, I cannot help admiring giving more room to Jarmo´s clean and very melodic vocal parts on this record. He can truly hit some ace of spaces in a ballad song, “Sea of Whispers”. There´s also a familiar, may I say, sort of Dimmu Borgir-ish vibe in “Summon the Wild”, which I do not consider any that bad thing at all.

As a final conclusion I would even say the band has truly improved over the past years in a really magnificent way, starting this process from their previous album, BEFORE THE BLEEDING SUN, already. Now that whole process has been completed on their latest triumph for victory, CHILDREN OF THE DARK WATERS – and if you have ever considered yourself as a fan of E.T.o.S., you don´t want to miss this album at any cost.

Even if I have personally dug every E.T.o.S. album so far, for different reasons, in my sincere opinion CHILDREN OF THE DARK WATERS is by far their most pleasing album thus far. Get it to find out yourself.


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Track Listing:
01. Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act II: Children of the Dark Waters
02. Baptized by the Blood of Angels
03. Tears of Autumn Rain
04. Summon the Wild
05. Sea of Whispers
06. Midnight Bird
07. Diary of Demonic Dreams
08. When the Darkest Night Falls
09. Nocturne Thule

Altti Veteläinen – Harsh vocals & bass
Jarmo Kylmänen – Clean vocals & choirs
Jarmo Puolakanaho – Guitar
Risto Ruuth – Guitar
Janne Tolsa – Keyboards
Juho Raappana – Drums (on tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10)
Petri Sankala – Drums (on tracks 2, 3, 6 and 11)
Miriam Renvåg – Female vocals
Heidi Parviainen – Female vocals